A while ago we already posted a message informing you that the release of the co.no extension has been postponed until March 25th since Norid (Norwegian registry) had some extra questions regarding .co.no. On March 25th however, the release was postponed once more since the Norwegian registry hasn’t given their permission yet for the release of this extension. And at the moment, it doesn’t seem things will soon be changing.
The domain name co.no was released in 2001. It was then removed of the list of forbidden .no domain names. Those forbidden names weren’t available for registration before 2001. However, in 2001, several 2 character .no domains were released, including co.no. This name was then registered by the company ELINEWEB AS. After the advice of Norpol, the policy advisory board of the Norwegian registry, the name was put back on the list of forbidden names in 2009. At the time, all registrars were informed about this.
A few months ago, a large scaled marketing campaign started, promoting .co.no as the extension which would allow anyone to register a Norwegian domain name. In this first communication about this new extension the impression was made that Norid agreed with this new extension. However the registry quickly denied this. Moreover, they decided to investigate this new extension. This investigation shows that ELINEWEB AS isn’t the company which will be offering registrations under the .co.no extension. And that’s the problem.
A domain name which is mentioned on the list of forbidden names can’t be transferred to another registrar. Officially this didn’t happen. The Whois information of this name still shows ELINEWEB AS as the owner of this domain name. But the offering of registrations under this name has been outsourced to another company. That’s why Norid decided to check profoundly whether such outsourcing of services is legal.
So the future of the .co.no extension keeps looking insecure. A release date for this extension remains unknown. However we would like to inform you that is already possible to register a Norwegian domain name under the .no extension. Some companies offer local presence under the .no extension which makes direct registrations under this extension not completely impossible for foreign companies.